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 Once a Son, Always a Son?

Often in the "Once Saved, Always Saved" debates, the issue of sonship comes up. The arguement goes something like this: "Once you are born again you are a child of God. How can you stop being a child of God after you are born into His Kingdom? You cannot be unborn. Therefore, once saved always saved."

I was thinking about this today because I was reading John Fletchers "Checks to Antinomianism". I was reading his arguements against the notion of "Once a Son, Always a Son".

I firmly believe that the bible teaches conditional security, and that once can choose to leave their salvation if they so desire.

The bible says that before you are a child of God, you are a child of the devil.

But once a child of the devil, always a child of the devil? No. When you die to sin and self, and are resurrected in the spiritual, you are no longer a child of the devil, but a child of God.

So in this sense, once a child always a child is totally unbiblical.

Also when it comes to our sonship adoption to God. If we die spiritual through sin, we once again become children of the devil. In the "adoption", ownership can be transfered.

I once heard Leonard Ravenhill say, "Oh, so you believe in once saved, always saved. Well, do you believe in once lost always lost?"

I didn't understand his point until now. But if we are going to say, "Once a child of God, always a child of God" wouldn't we also have to say, "Once a child of the devil, always a child of the devil?"

In that case, to say someone cannot lose their salvation, would also require saying that a person cannot gain salvation. And both are totally unbiblical.

 2006/10/1 0:45

 Re: Once a Son, Always a Son?

This is what I was trying to say in a clearer way:

If people are saying that you cannot lose sonship. Then that has to be applied to sonship to the devil along with sonship to God.

The bible says that sinners are sons of the devil while saints are sons of God.

If a person can "lose" their sonship to the devil, then they can "lose" their sonship to God as well.

When a person becomes born again, they are no longer children of the devil but become children of God.

And when a person becomes a backslider, they are no longer children of God but become children of the devil.

 2006/10/1 1:24

Joined: 2006/4/4
Posts: 60
Tulsa, Oklahoma


I still believe in "once saved, always saved" through Jesus´ blood that He shed on the cross for our sins. Also, if you read Romans 6:38-39, it says: "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" KJV.
Once we repent from our sin and give our lives to Jesus, we are adopted by God as His children. Look at Romans 8:14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God". And 8:15: "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father". Of course it is still possible for us to sin, look at Romans 7:14-20: "For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that I do. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me ( that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that which I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me". And then verse 24 goes on "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Verse 25, which I think is the most important here, says " I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin".

If even Paul had these problems, why should we not? And do you believe that he thought himself a child of Satan, because his flesh continued to sin? No, he knew he was a child of God through Jesus Christ.

God bless,

Beate Masslock

 2006/10/1 4:49Profile

Joined: 2004/9/28
Posts: 957
Cleveland, Georgia


While I don't believe God saves and then unsaves, I tend to shy away from the 'once always' statements. Why? Because you don't find them in Scripture. Certainly if that were the way God intened His people to think, He would have said so. But rather, the Scripture says things like, hold fast, endure, keep the faith, etc, etc.

I have a dear brother who I work and preach under, who often stands up and speaks after I get finished, comforting our boys with 'once saved, always saved' teaching, and to tell you the truth, I don't fight him one bit. But I, personally, will stay true to what God speaks to me. It was Gurnall in his famous tome that said something like this:

"When you find someone who preaches near popery, without preaching popery, that's your man."

I don't want to debate about that statement, but rather confirm the spirit of what Gurnall was saying; that the pure gospel message should properly induce fear on the man who is living out of God's will, whether he is saved or not. The gospel should make people uncomfortable who are in rebellion to God, not by intellectual means, but by the Spirit, of course.

I once spoke with a man who asked me this question after handing him a 'Hell's Best Kept Secret' CD: "Do you believe in pouring gasoline on someone and then just lighting them on fire?" I knew this was going to get good. The man kept telling me, "I believe in once saved, always saved," but then he would tell me he did not believe in hell. I tried all the reasoning but he just wouldn't listen. All I could think about was Hebrews 6.

So while I don't believe the GENUINE convert will fall away, I don't preach 'once saved always saved' but rather, 'examine yourselves...prove your own selves' and 'make your calling and election sure.'

I think if you take the debate away, and look at the genuine man or woman of God, regardless of their view on eternal security, you will see a holy life. I concentrate on what the Scripture says to me today, instead of only focusing on what happened the day I met the Lord.

I attend a church that leans to one side of the debate, and work in a ministry that for the most part leans to the other (I will let you guess which). All denominations have those who are out of the will of God (like early Rev, 'I am somewhat against thee' etc). Of the lukewarm in each, I see in the Armenian schools of thought, a kind of nervousness and anxiety, and in the OSAS schools of thought, those that seem to be a little more of a drift toward 'sin that grace may abound.' (and truthfully, a drift toward being 'at ease in Zion' in both).

I think the problem is twofold: people don't really get into the Scriptures, people aren't serious about prayer (I am much more guilty of the second). Regardless of stance on this debate, almost everyone I have met who really devours the Word of God and stays hungry for it, seems to have a clean, sanctified spirit about them. Most often those who either seem anxious or 'backslidden' are almost guaranteed to not be desiring the sincere milk of the word. And of the ones who do much study but are still getting tossed about, I would bet they 'hear' the words but don't 'do' what they read.

Didn't want to sidetrack the issue, Laz, your subject just brings up a lot of feelings after getting a taste of so many different Christians.

Hal Bachman

 2006/10/1 5:07Profile

Joined: 2006/6/12
Posts: 524



What does God say? ( not what" people say")

Quote Laz

"if a person can "lose" their sonship to the devil, then they can "lose" their sonship to God as well."

Where in the bible teaches this?

First of all, you seemed to have assumed the devil is as powerful as God. When believers are adopted to God's sonship, do you actually think that the devil can touch them?

[b]John 10:29
My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and [i]no man is able[/i] to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

Romans 8:38-39

38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, [i]shall be able to separate us from[/i] the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 1:13-14

13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed,[i] ye were sealed [/i]with that holy Spirit of promise,
14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.[/b]

Quote Laz

"And when a person becomes a backslider, they are no longer children of God but become children of the devil."

Again, did you make this up? Where's the scriptural base?

Backsliding,was a term in the days when God used to proclaim against Israel/Judah by Jeremiah and Hosea, pinpointed mainly to their turning back into idolatries since GOD delivered them from Egypt. Since, strangely, this word has been always used to describe sinning Christians' in relationship to their soteriological position.

Lastly, define sins that are considered the backsliding type?? Adultery? Fornications? Idolatry? Greed? Back to Judaism? Back to Buddism? None of these? How about PRIDE?

Take any of your most respected evangelists, someone who preaches and "saves" millions, in his deep dark closet, he's loaded with unrepented sin in pride, sin in hate, do you see he's a sinner or a backslider?

Study l John:

4And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, [b]we lie[/b], and do not the truth:

7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from [b]all sin. [/b]

8If we say that we have no sin, [b]we deceive ourselves,[/b] and the truth is not in us.

9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ( PRAISE GOD FOR THIS SO MUCH !!)

10If we say that we have not sinned,[b] we make him a liar[/b], and his word is not in us.

When we (Christians) sin, or turn back to sins, are liars, we deceive ourselves and GOD, not backsliders. Sonship will not be tainted.

However, professing 'christians' who persist in the same sins, who commit them without repentance or remorse, I call those false brethren, who lied about their conversion, whom were never born again to begin with, again, not backsliders.

Laz, please study hard and know your doctrine before you go preach it to anyone else, this is very serious. It's far better not to preach than to preach falsehood or errors !!


 2006/10/1 11:16Profile

Joined: 2006/4/4
Posts: 60
Tulsa, Oklahoma



you know, the word "Trinity" is not mentioned in scripture either, and we still believe in the Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, right? Or the word "rapture". I don´t think we should go by this, but like you said, what the Word of God says about it!

In Christ

Beate Masslock

 2006/10/1 12:35Profile

Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991


i think backslider is a bad word to use, i dont think there are such thing as a born again backslider, we can fall into sin and do sin, but if we fall away completly, to me that is evidence they never were saved to begin whit, so how can anyone backslide if they werent saved, as mamaluk said...there are many false brethren out there, many who says im a christian...but we can know them by there fruits...

and as everyone is saying what does god say? that is the only importent thing...

1Jo 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jo 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Jo 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
1Jo 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
1Jo 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

they where not all of us...hmm does that meen they were only backsliden? or does it meen they never where of us to begin whit...



 2006/10/1 13:19Profile

Joined: 2006/1/31
Posts: 4991


and i have to add...since ive talked of this subject not to long ago...i belive the word teches from those verses mamaluk provided here that if a person is truly born of god...the same god who created the universe...if that god has made a new creation in me or anyone else...exept i choose to divorce god and rip him out of my heart willingly knowing the consecuenses of eternal damnation... exept i do one can touch me becuse god shall finich what he started, for his eternal glory, the devil aint got nothing on the children of god, he may lie to us and make us take a wrong turn here and there...but god dosent abandon his children...

ohh glory to the living god, i find such comfort in this, he will never leave me or any of his children

glory be to god


 2006/10/1 13:24Profile

Joined: 2006/8/12
Posts: 313


Sidenote: I heard in Jewish tradtion. That when a son was born into the family, he could leave the family and be no more with that family. BUT once a son was adopted in, he was to NEVER EVER leave the family because he was bought with a price. 8-)

 2006/10/1 23:27Profile


I'm saying saying that the devil can cause you to leave.

Nor that God is not all powerful.

But God in His sovereignty has given man free-will. And if mans will is truly free, he can choose to "leave" his salvation for sin if he so choose.

Now, it's not a matter of whether or not someone would "want" to leave. I certainly don't want to leave Christ. But the question is "can" someone leave Christ?

John 6:68 68 "Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life"

But what does the verses before that say? It's very important that we take scripture in context, or else you could end up with heresy.

John 6:66-67 From that time [b]many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.[/b] Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

So here we see that Peter did not want to leave. But Christ asked His other disciples if they too will leave, because some of his other disciples went back and walked no more with him.

So the scripture says that you can actually be a disciple of Christ, and then go back to walk with Him no more, though you once did walk with Him.

Paul knew this basis bible truth because he said,

Heb 3:12 - "Take heed, [b]brethren,[/b] lest there be in [b]any of you[/b] an evil heart of unbelief, in [b]departing[/b] from the living God."

Here Paul warns "brethren" that "any of you" could actually "depart" from God!

Biblically speaking, it's not only false converts that fall away. There are false converts that appear to walk with Jesus but then fall away, but they don't really fall away becaue they never really had Jesus to begin with. But a true disciple can also choose to leave Jesus for sin. Which explains why Paul would:

Exhort that believers, "continue in the faith" Ac 14:22

Because it's possible to depart from the faith.

"persuaded them to continue in the grace of God." Ac 13:43

Because it's possible to fall from the grace of God.

If only false converts "fell away", it would make no sense for Paul to give such exhortations and persuasion, but would make more sense for him to give no exhortation at all, so that they will fall away, since they were false to begin with anyways.

Since sin seperates man from God, and the blood of Christ only covers sins that are repented of, and salvation is found only in Christ, if a person leaves Christ for sin, they have left (not lost) their salvation, are seperated from God, and unless they repent they will perish.

[b]It is very possible for a true Christian to:[/b]

*turn from his righteous ways, commit iniquity, and die (Ezekiel 18:24, 26)
*fall away (Mt 11:6; Mk 14:27,29)
*wander away (Mt 18:12,13)
*turn away from the faith (Mt 24:10)
*stop believing and fall away in time of testing (Lk 8:13)
*cut in two and assigned a portion with the unbelievers (Luke 12:46)
*lose your saltiness and be thrown out (Lk 14:34,35)
*turn back and no longer follow Jesus (Jn 6:66)
*be a branch that is cast out as withered, and thrown in the fire and burned (Jn 15:6)
*go astray (Jn 16:1)
*cease to continue in His goodness, and be cut off (Rom 11:22)
*be disqualified (1 Cor 9:27)
*Leave egypt, be baptized, eat and drink of Christ, and yet have God get angry and scatter your body in the wilderness (entire chapter of 1 Cor 10)
*believe in vain (1 Cor 15:2)
*fall away from grace (Gal 5:4)
*cease to continue in the faith, move away from the hope of the Gospel, and not be presented holy, blameless, and above reproach in His sight (Col. 1:23)
*be part of the falling away (2 Thes 2:3)
*wander away from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith and turn to meaningless talk (1 Tim 1:5,6)
*have your faith shipwrecked (1 Tim 1:19)
*be puffed up with pride and suffer the same condemnation as the devil (1 Tim 3:6)
*have condemnation because they cast off their first faith (1 Tim 5:12)
*turn away to follow Satan (1 Tim 5:15)
*depart from the faith (1 Tim 4:1)
*wander away from the faith (1 Tim 6:10,21)
*wander away from the truth and destroy the faith of others (2 Tim 2:18)
*turn your ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (2 Tim 4:4)
*drift away (Heb 2:1)
*acquire a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God (Heb 3:12)
*come short of entering His rest (Heb 4:1)
*fall according to disobedience (Hewb 4:11)
*fall away to the point where you can't be renewed to repentance (Heb 6:6)
*sin wilfully after receiving a knowledge of the truth, and there be no sacrifice for sins left, and we come under a certain fearful expectation of judgement, and fiery indignation which will devour the advesaries of God (Heb 10:26-27)
*fall short of the grace of God, and many become defiled from it (Heb 12:15)
*turn away from him who warns us from heaven (Heb 12:25)
*be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings (Heb 13:9)
be judged (Jam 5:9)
*wander from the truth, and need his soul saved from death (Jam 5:19)
*stuumble [from your calling and election] (2 Pet 1:10)
*leave the straight way and follow the way of Balaam (2 Pet 2:15)
*again be entangled in [the pollutions of the world], and the end result is so bad that it would be better for you to never have known the way of righteousness, than to turn from it (2 Peter 2:20-21)
*be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position (2 Pet 3:17)
*have their lampstand removed from its place (Rev 2:5)
not remain faithful and be hurt by the second death (Rev 2:10,11)
*have their name blotted out of the Book of Life (Rev 3:5)
become lukewarm and get spit out of the body of Christ (Rev 3:15,16)
*have God take away your share in the tree of life and in the holy city (Rev 22:19)
*have their part from the Book of Life, the holy city, and the things written in the book taken away (Rev 22:18)

Stay saved!

 2006/10/1 23:32

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